Actually, there is no such thing as “us” and “them”, there is only “us” and “us”. And there is no better place to experience that truth than at a Partners in Hope’s Eat, Pray, Love dinner – a fellowship event hosted once a month by Lake Travis churches and attended by volunteers and the families PIH helps.
Bruce, the father of two young children, is a good example. He recently showed up to volunteer at an EPL dinner for the first time with several others from his church. Although he felt perfectly comfortable socializing, he wasn’t making a significant connection with anyone in particular. Until he sat down at a table with Doug, his wife & their two teenage boys. It quickly became clear that despite their seasons of life & current circumstances, Bruce and Doug had much more in common than either thought possible. Over the course of the evening, the lines between “volunteer’ and “guest” were appropriately blurred and the two men made a commitment to pray for each other.
Melinda, a regular volunteer at Eat, Pray, Love dinners, had her own eye opening experience just last month. When she walked in to the room, she spotted two women sitting alone, and a little awkwardly, at a table in the back. She joined them, eager to connect with people in need, introduced herself, and initiated light conversation. A few minutes later, her friend Annette sat down with the 3 of them. The ladies gradually began to share openly about themselves and in the process, it was revealed that the two women initially sitting alone were not PIH “guests” but volunteers and her friend of 20 years wasn’t a volunteer, she was there for support – a guest of PIH. Melinda had gotten the “who’s who?” all wrong.
In both these cases, the volunteers and guests found encouragement and strength in their shared experiences as well as their differing circumstances. We see this happen over and over again through relational and intentional interactions at Eat, Pray, Love dinners. These events make it surprisingly clear that each of us benefits greatly and equally from our relationships with others. That being willing to step out & step in allows God to over-bless every time. And that situations and people are seldom as they first appear.
There is no “us” and no “them” – there is only “we” the people who live and work and raise our children in the many, varied Lake Travis neighborhoods. If you are interested in debunking current cultural attitudes and are ready to experience real community transformation, go to www.patnersinhopelaketravis.org and join the adventure!
Submitted by Dee Ehlers